The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries
by Francis Galton
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Francis Galton The Art of Travel (1872) first published in Great Britain by John Murray, London in 1872.

THE ART OF TRAVEL or Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries

Francis Galton



Preparatory Enquiries Organising an Expedition Outfit Medicine Surveying Instruments Memoranda and Log-Books Measurements Climbing and Mountaineering Cattle Harness Carriages Swimming Rafts and Boats Fords and Bridges Clothing Bedding Bivouac Huts Sleeping-Bags Tents Furniture Fire Food Water for Drinking Guns and Rifles Gun-fittings and Ammunition Shooting, hints on Game, other means of capturing Fishing Signals Bearings by Compass, Sun, etc. Marks by the wayside Way, to find Caches and Depots Savages, Management of Hostilities Mechanical Appliances Knots Writing Materials Timber Metals Leather Cords, String, and Thread Membrane, Sinew, and Horn Pottery Candles and Lamps Conclusion of the Journey


This Edition does not differ materially from the fourth. I have incorporated some new material, including Colomb and Bolton's flashing signals, but in other respects the Work is little altered. I therefore reprint the


In publishing a fourth Edition of the 'Art of Travel,' it is well that I should preface it with a few words of explanation on the origin and intention of the Book and on the difference between this and former Editions.

The idea of the work occurred to me when exploring South-western Africa in 1850-51. I felt acutely at that time the impossibility of obtaining sufficient information on the subjects of which it treats; for though the natives of that country taught me a great deal, it was obvious that their acquaintance with bush lore was exceedingly partial and limited. Then remembering how the traditional maxims and methods of travelling in each country differ from those of others, and how every traveller discovers some useful contrivances for himself, it appeared to me, that I should do welcome service to all who have to rough it—whether explorers, emigrants, missionaries or soldiers,*—by collecting the scattered experiences of many such persons in various circumstances, collating them, examining into their principles, and deducing from them what might fairly be called an "Art of Travel." To this end, on my return home, I searched through a vast number of geographical works, I sought information from numerous travellers of distinction and I made a point of re-testing, in every needful case, what I had read or learned by hearsay.

[Footnote] * ". . . the soldier should be taught all such practical expedients and their philosophy, as are laid down in Mr. Galton's useful little book . . . "—'Minute by the late Sir James Outram on Army Management.' Parliamentary Return, of May 240, p. 159.

It should be understood that I do not profess to give exhaustive treatises on each of the numerous subjects comprised in this volume, but only such information as is not generally known among travellers. A striking instance of the limited geographical area over which the knowledge of many useful contrivances extends, is that described as a 'Dateram,' p. 164, by which tent ropes may be secured in sand of the loosest description. Though tents are used over an enormous extent of sandy country, in all of which this simple contrivance would be of the utmost value on every stormy night, and though the art of pitching tents is studied by the troops of all civilised and partly civilised nations, yet I believe that the use of the dateram never extended beyond the limits of a comparatively small district in the south of the Sahara, until I had described it in a former Edition; and further, my knowledge of that contrivance was wholly due to a single traveller, the late Dr. Barth.

The first Edition of the 'Art of Travel' was published in 1854: it was far less comprehensive than the later ones; for my materials steadily accumulate, and each successive Edition has shown a marked improvement on its predecessor. Hitherto I have adhered to the original arrangement of the work, but am now obliged to deviate from it, for the contents have outgrown the system of classification I first adopted. Before I could interpolate the new matter prepared for this Edition, I found it necessary to recast the last one, by cutting it into pieces, sorting it into fresh paragraphs and thoroughly revising the writing—disentangling here and consolidating there. The present Edition will consequently be found more conveniently arranged than those that preceded it, and, at the same time, I trust the copiousness of its Index will enable persons to find with readiness any passage they had remarked in a former Edition, and to which they may desire again to refer.

I am still most thankful to strangers as well as to friends for contributions of hints or corrections, having been indebted to many a previously unknown correspondent for valuable information. I beg that such communications may be addressed to me, care of my publisher, Mr. Murray, 50, Albermarle Street, London.

* * * * *

P.S.—A reviewer of my Third Edition accused me of copying largely from an American book, called 'The Prairie Traveller,' by, the then, Capt. Randolph B. Marcy. I therefore think it well to remark that the first Edition of that work was published in 1859 (Harper and Brothers, New York;—by authority of the American War Department), and that the passages in question are all taken from my second Edition published in 1856; part of them are copies of what I had myself written, the rest are reprints of my quotations, as though the Author of the 'Prairie Traveller' had himself originally selected them.

I take this opportunity of remarking that though I have been indebted for information to a very large number of authors and correspondents, yet I am sorry to be unable to make my acknowledgements except in comparatively few instances. The fact is that the passages in this book are seldom traceable to distinctly definite sources: commonly more than one person giving me information that partially covers the same subject, and not unfrequently my own subsequent enquiries modifying or enlarging the hints I had received. Consequently I have given the names of authorities only when my information has been wholly due to them, or when their descriptions are so graphic that I have transferred them without alteration into my pages, or else when their statements require confirmation. It will be easy to see by the context to which of these categories each quotation belongs.

Francis Galton



To those who meditate Travel.—Qualifications for a Traveller.—If you have health, a great craving for adventure, at least a moderate fortune, and can set your heart on a definite object, which old travellers do not think impracticable, then—travel by all means. If, in addition to these qualifications, you have scientific taste and knowledge, I believe that no career, in time of peace, can offer to you more advantages than that of a traveller. If you have not independent means, you may still turn travelling to excellent account; for experience shows it often leads to promotion, nay, some men support themselves by travel. They explore pasture land in Australia, they hunt for ivory in Africa, they collect specimens of natural history for sale, or they wander as artists.

Reputed Dangers of Travel.—A young man of good constitution, who is bound on an enterprise sanctioned by experienced travellers, does not run very great risks. Let those who doubt, refer to the history of the various expeditions encouraged by the Royal Geographical Society, and they will see how few deaths have occurred; and of those deaths how small a proportion among young travellers. Savages rarely murder new-comers; they fear their guns, and have a superstitious awe of the white man's power: they require time to discover that he is not very different to themselves, and easily to be made away with. Ordinary fever are seldom fatal to the sound and elastic constitution of youth, which usually has power to resist the adverse influences of two or three years of wild life.

Advantages of Travel.—It is no slight advantage to a young man, to have the opportunity for distinction which travel affords. If he plans his journey among scenes and places likely to interest the stay-at-home public, he will probably achieve a reputation that might well be envied by wiser men who have not had his opportunities.

The scientific advantages of travel are enormous to a man prepared to profit by them. He sees Nature working by herself, without the interference of human intelligence; and he sees her from new points of view; he has also undisturbed leisure for the problems which perpetually attract his attention by their novelty. The consequence is, that though scientific travellers are comparatively few, yet out of their ranks a large proportion of the leaders in all branches of science has been supplied. It is one of the most grateful results of a journey to the young traveller to find himself admitted, on the ground of his having so much of special interest to relate, into the society of men with whose names he had long been familiar, and whom he had reverenced as his heroes.

To obtain Information.—The centres of information respecting rude and savage countries are the Geographical, Ethnological, and Anthropological societies at home and abroad. Any one intending to travel should put himself into communication with the Secretary, and become a member of one or more of these Societies; he will not only have access to books and maps, but will be sure to meet with sympathy, encouragement, and intelligent appreciation. If he is about to attempt a really bold exploration under fair conditions of success, he will no doubt be introduced to the best living authorities on the country to which he is bound, and will be provided with letters of introduction to the officials at the port where he is to disembark, that will smooth away many small difficulties and give him a recognised position during his travels.

Information on Scientific Matters.—Owing to the unhappy system of education that has hitherto prevailed, by which boys acquire a very imperfect knowledge of the structure of two dead languages, and none at all of the structure of the living world, most persons preparing to travel are overwhelmed with the consciousness of their incapacity to observe, with intelligence, the country they are about to visit. I have been very frequently begged by such persons to put them in the way of obtaining a rudimentary knowledge of the various branches of science, and have constantly made inquiries; but I regret to say that I have been unable to discover any establishment where suitable instruction in natural science is to be obtained by persons of the age and station of most travellers. Nor do I know of any persons who advertise private tuition in any of its branches whose names I might therefore be at liberty to publish, except Professor Tennant, who gives private lessons in mineralogy at his shop in the Strand, where the learner might easily familiarise himself with the ordinary minerals and fossils, and where collections might be purchased for after reference. An intending traveller could readily find naturalists who would give lessons, in museums and botanical gardens, adapting their instruction to his probable wants, and he would thus obtain some familiarity with the character of the principal plants and animals amongst which he would afterwards be thrown. If he has no private means of learning the names of such persons, I should recommend him to write to some public Professor, stating all particulars, and begging the favour of his advice. The use of the sextant may be learnt at various establishments in the City and East End of London, where the junior officers of merchant vessels receive instruction at small cost. A traveller could learn their addresses from the maker of his sextant. He might also apply at the rooms of the Royal Geographical Society, 1, Savile Row, London, where he would probably receive advice suitable to his particular needs, and possibly some assistance of a superior order to that which the instructors of whom I spoke profess to afford. That well-known volume, 'The Admiralty Manual of Scientific Inquiry,' has been written to meet the wants of uninformed travellers; and a small pamphlet, 'Hints to Travellers,' has been published with the same object, by the Royal Geographical Society. It is procurable at their rooms. There is, perhaps, no branch of Natural History in which a traveller could do so much, without more information than is to be obtained from a few books, than that of the Science of Man. He should see the large collection of skulls in the College of Surgeons, and the flint and bone implements in the British Museum, the Christie Museum, and elsewhere, and he should buy the principal modern works on anthropology, to be carefully re-studied on his outward voyage.

Conditions of Success and Failure in Travel.—An exploring expedition is daily exposed to a succession of accidents, any one of which might be fatal to its further progress. The cattle may at any time stray, die, or be stolen; water may not be reached, and they may perish; one or more of the men may become seriously ill, or the party may be attacked by natives. Hence the success of the expedition depends on a chain of eventualities, each link of which must be a success; for if one link fails at that point, there must be an end of further advance. It is therefore well, especially at the outset of a long journey, not to go hurriedly to work, nor to push forward too thoughtlessly. Give the men and cattle time to become acclimatised, make the bush your home, and avoid unnecessary hardships. Interest yourself chiefly in the progress of your journey, and do not look forward to its end with eagerness. It is better to think of a return to civilisation, not as an end to hardship and a haven from ill, but as a close to an adventurous and pleasant life. In this way, risking little, and insensibly creeping on, you will make connections, and learn the capabilities of the country, as you advance; all which will be found invaluable in the case of a hurried or disastrous return. And thus, when some months have passed by, you will look back with surprise on the great distance travelled over; for, if you average only three miles a day, at the end of the year you will have advanced 1200, which is a very considerable exploration. The fable of the Tortoise and the Hare is peculiarly applicable to travellers over wide and unknown tracts. It is a very high merit to accomplish a long exploration without loss of health, of papers, or even of comfort.

Physical Strength of Leader.—Powerful men do not necessarily make the most eminent travellers; it is rather those who take the most interest in their work that succeed the best; as a huntsman says, "it is the nose that gives speed to the hound." Dr. Kane, who was one of the most adventurous of travellers, was by no means a strong man, either in health or muscle.

Good Temper.—Tedious journeys are apt to make companions irritable one to another; but under hard circumstances, a traveller does his duty best who doubles his kindliness of manner to those about him, and takes harsh words gently, and without retort. He should make it a point of duty to do so. It is at those times very superfluous to show too much punctiliousness about keeping up one's dignity, and so forth; since the difficulty lies not in taking up quarrels, but in avoiding them.

Reluctant Servants.—Great allowance should be made for the reluctant co-operation of servants; they have infinitely less interest in the success of the expedition than their leaders, for they derive but little credit from it. They argue thus:—"Why should we do more than we knowingly undertook, and strain our constitutions and peril our lives in enterprises about which we are indifferent?" It will, perhaps, surprise a leader who, having ascertained to what frugal habits a bush servant is inured, learns on trial, how desperately he clings to those few luxuries which he has always had. Thus, speaking generally, a Cape servant is happy on meat, coffee, and biscuit; but, if the coffee or biscuit has to be stopped for a few days, he is ready for mutiny.


Size of Party.—The best size for a party depends on many considerations. It should admit of being divided into two parts, each strong enough to take care of itself, and in each of which is one person at least able to write a letter,—which bus servants, excellent in every other particular, are too often unable to do. In travel through a disorganised country, where there are small chiefs and bands of marauders, a large party is necessary; thus the great success of Livingstone's earlier expeditions was largely due to his being provided with an unusually strong escort of well-armed and warlike, but not too aggressive, Caffres. In other cases small parties succeed better than large ones; they excite less fear, do not eat up the country, and are less delayed by illness. The last fatal expedition of Mungo Park is full of warning to travellers who propose exploring with a large body of Europeans.

Solitary Travellers.—Neither sleepy nor deaf men are fit to travel quite alone. It is remarkable how often the qualities of wakefulness and watchfulness stand every party in good stead.

Servants.—Nature of Engagements.—The general duties that a servant should be bound to, independently of those for which he is specially engaged, are—under penalty of his pay being stopped, and, it may be, of dismissal—to maintain discipline, take share of camp-duties and night-watch, and do all in his power to promote the success of the expedition. His wages should not be payable to him in full, till the return of the party to the town from which it started, or to some other civilised place. It is best that all clothing, bedding, etc., that the men may require, should be issued out and given to them as a present, and that none of their own old clothes should be allowed to be taken. They are more careful of what is their own; and, by supplying the things yourself, you can be sure that they are good in quality, uniform in appearance, and equal in weight, while this last is ascertainable.

The following Form of Agreement is abridged from one that was used in Mr. Austin's expedition in Australia. It seems short, explicit, and reasonable:—

"We the undersigned, forming an expedition about to explore the interior of ——, under Mr. A., consent to place ourselves (horses and equipments) entirely and unreservedly under his orders for the above purpose, from the date hereof until our return to——, or, on failure in this respect, to abide all consequences that may result. We fully recognise Mr. B. as the second, and Mr. C. as the third in command; and the right of succession to the command and entire charge of the party in the order thus stated.

"We severally undertake to use our best endeavours to promote the harmony of the party, and the success of the expedition.

"In witness whereof we sign our names. (Here follow the signatures.) Read over and signed by the respective parties, in my presence." (Here follows the signature of some person of importance in the place where the expedition is organised.)

By the words, "abide all consequences," the leader would be justified in leaving a man to shift for himself, and refusing his pay, if the case were a serious one.

Good Interpreters are very important: men who have been used by their chiefs, missionaries, etc., as interpreters, are much to be preferred; for so great is the poverty of thought and language among common people, that you will seldom find a man, taken at hazard, able to render your words with correctness. Recollect to take with you vocabularies of all the tribes whom you are at all likely to visit.

Engaging Natives.—On engaging natives, the people with whom they have lived, and to whom they have become attached and learnt to fear, should impress on them that, unless they bring you back in safety, they must never show their faces again, nor expect the balance of their pay, which will only be delivered to them on your return.

Women.—Natives' Wives.—If some of the natives take their wives, it gives great life to the party. They are of very great service, and cause no delay; for the body of a caravan must always travel at a foot's pace, and a woman will endure a long journey nearly as well as a man, and certainly better than a horse or a bullock. They are invaluable in picking up and retailing information and hearsay gossip, which will give clues to much of importance, that, unassisted, you might miss. Mr. Hearne the American traveller of the last century, in his charming book, writes as follows, and I can fully corroborate the faithfulness with which he gives us a savage's view of the matter. After the account of his first attempt, which was unsuccessful, he goes on to say,—"The very plan which, by the desire of the Governor, we pursued, of not taking any women with us on the journey, was, as the chief said, the principal thing that occasioned all our want: 'for,' said he, 'when all the men are heavy laden, they can neither hunt nor travel to any considerable distance; and if they meet with any success in hunting, who is to carry the produce of the labour?' 'Women,' said he, 'were made for labour: one of them can carry or haul as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and in fact there is no such thing as travelling any considerable distance, or for any length of time, in this country without their assistance.' 'Women,' said he again, 'though they do everything are maintained at a trifling expense: for, as they always stand cook, the very licking of their fingers, in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence.'"

Strength of Women.—I believe there are few greater popular errors than the idea we have mainly derived from chivalrous times, that woman is a weakly creature. Julius C aesar, who judged for himself, took a very different view of the powers of certain women of the northern races, about whom he wrote. I suppose, that in the days of baronial castles, when crowds of people herded together like pigs within the narrow enclosures of a fortification and the ladies did nothing but needlework in their boudoirs, the mode of life wasvery prejudicial to their nervous system and muscular powers. The women suffered from the effects of ill ventilation and bad drainage, and had none of the counteracting advantages of the military life that was led by the males. Consequently women really became the helpless dolls that they were considered to be, and which it is still the fashion to consider them. It always seems to me that a hard-worked woman is better and happier for her work. It is in the nature of women to be fond of carrying weights; you may see them in omnibuses and carriages, always preferring to hold their baskets or their babies on their knees, to setting them down on the seats by their sides. A woman, whose modern dress includes I know not how many cubic feet of space, has hardly ever pockets of a sufficient size to carry small articles; for she prefers to load her hands with a bag or other weighty object. A nursery-maid, who is on the move all day, seems the happiest specimen of her sex; and, after her, a maid-of-all work who is treated fairly by her mistress.


It is impossible to include lists of outfit, in any reasonable space, that shall suit the various requirements of men engaged in expeditions of different magnitudes, who adopt different modes of locomotion, and who visit different countries and climates. I have therefore thought it best to describe only one outfit as a specimen, selecting for my example the desiderata for South Africa. In that country the traveller has, or had a few years ago, to take everything with him, for there were no civilised settlers, and the natural products of the country are of as little value in supplying his wants as those of any country can be. Again, South African wants are typical of those likely to be felt in every part of a large proportion of the region where rude travel is likely to be experienced, as in North Africa, in Australia, in Southern Siberia, and even in the prairies and pampas of North and South America. To make such an expedition effective all the articles included in the following lists may be considered as essential; I trust, on the other hand, that no article of real importance is omitted.

Stores for general use.—These are to a great degree independent of the duration of the journey.

Small Stores, various: — lbs.

One or two very small soft-steel axes; a small file to sharpen them; a few additional tools (see chapter on Timber); spare butcher's knives..............................8 A dozen awls for wood and for leather, two of them in handles; two gimlets; a dozen sail-needles; three palms; a ball of sewing-twine; bit of beeswax; sewing-needles, assorted; a ball of black and white thread; buttons; two tailors' thimbles (see chapter on Cord, String, and Thread)......................................................3 Two penknives; small metal saw; bit of Turkey gone; large scissors; corkscrew..........................................1 1/2 Spring balances, from 1/4 lb. to 5 lbs. and from 1 lb. to 50 lbs. (or else a hand steelyard............................1 1/2 Fish-hooks of many sorts; cobbler's was; black silk; gut; two or more fishing-lines and floats; a large ball of line; thin brass wire, for springes (see chapters on Fishing and Trapping)........................................2 Ball of wicks, for lamps; candle-mould (see chapter on Candles); a few corks; lump of sulphur; amadou (see chapter on Fire).............................................1 1/2 Medicines (see chapter on Medicine); a scalpel; a blunt- pointed bistoury; and good forceps for thorns................1 A small iron, and an ironing-flannel; clothes-brush; bottle of Benzine or other scouring drops....................3 _

Carried forward........................................21 1/2

Brought forward.................................................21 1/2 Bullet-mould, not a heavy one; bit of iron place for a ladle; gun-cleaning apparatus; turnscrews; nipple- wrench; bottle of fine oil; spare nipples; spare screw for cock (see chapter on Gun-Fittings).......................2 1/2 Two macintosh water-bags, shaped for the pack saddle, of one gallon each, with funnel-shaped necks, and having wide mouth (empty) (see chapter on Water for Drinking).......2 1/2 Composition for mending them, in two small bottles; and a spare piece of macintosh.....................................2 1/2 Spare leather, canvas, and webbing, for girths; rings and buckles.................................................20 Two small patrol-tents, poles, and pegs (see Chapter on Tents)......................................................30 Small inflatable pontoon to hold one, or even two men (see chapter on Rafts and Boats).................................10 Small bags for packing the various articles, independently of the saddle bags.......................................... 4 Macintosh sheeting overall, to keep the pack dry.................4

Total weight of various small stores...................95

Heavy Stores, various: — Pack saddles, spare saddlery (see chapter on Harness); bags for packing......................................... Water-vessels (see chapter on Water for Drinking)........... Heavy ammunition for sporting purposes. (1 lb. weight gives 10 shots. Otherwise each armed man is supposed to carry a long double-barrelled rifle of a very small bore, say of 70, and ammunition for these is allowed for below)...............................................

Total weight of various heavy stores...............

Stationery: — Two ledgers; a dozen note-books (see chapter on Memoranda and Log-Books); paper..............................9 Ink; pens; pencils; sealing-wax; gum.............................2 1/2 Board to write upon...........................................2 Books to read, say equal to six vols. the ordinary size of novels; and maps..........................................7 1/2 Bags and cases...................................................3 Sketching-books, colours, and pencils............................6

Total weight of stationery............................30

Mapping: — Two sextants; horizon and roof; lantern; two pints of oil; azimuth compass; small aneroid; thermometers; tin-pot for boiling thermometers; watches (see chapter on Surveying Instruments)...........................18 Protractors; ruler; compasses; measuring-tape, etc.............. 3 Raper's Navigation; Nautical Almanac; Carr's Synopsis, published by Weale; small tables, and small almanacs; star maps..........................................4 Bags and baskets, well wadded....................................6

Total weight of mapping materials.....................31

Natural History (for an occasional collector): — Arsenical soap, 2 lbs.; camphor, 1/2 lb.; pepper, 1/2 lb.; bag of some powder to absorb blood, 2 lbs.; tow and cotton, about 10 lbs.; scalpel, forceps scissors, etc., 1/2 lb.; sheet brass, stamped for labels, 1/2 lb..............................................16 Pill-boxes; cork; insect-boxes; pins; tin, for catching and keeping and killing animals; nets for butterflies (say bags and all)..........................10 Geological hammers, lens, clinometer, etc....................... 4 Specimens. (I make no allowance for the weight of these, for they accumulate as stores are used up; and the total weight is seldom increased.).............. Total weight of Natural History materials (for an occasional collector.......................30

Stores for Individual Use.

For each white man (independently of duration of journey): — Clothes; macintosh rug; ditto sheet; blanket-bag; spare blanket...............................................30 Share of plates, knives, forks, spoons, pannikins, or bowls.................................................... 2 Share of cooking-things, from pots, coffee-mill kettles, etc................................................ 3 Spare knife, flints, steel, tinder-box, tinder, four pipes.................................................. 2 Bags, 6 lbs......................................................6 Provisions for emergency — Five days of jerked meat, at 3 lbs. a day (on average).................................................15 Two quarts of water (on average), 4 lbs.; share of kegs, 1 1/2 lb............................................8

Total for each white man.............................66

For each white man, and for each six months: — Tea and coffee, 9 lbs.; tobacco, 6 lbs; salt, 6 lbs.; pepper, 1 lb................................................22 Brandy or rum, occasionally served out...........................6 White sugar, 2 lbs.; arrowroot, 1 lb.; dried onions, etc., 3 lbs..................................................6 Ammunition for small-bored rifles, with reserve powder and caps..............................................9

Total for six months (or at the rate of 7 lbs. per month)..............43

For each black man (independently of duration of journey): — Bedding, etc.................................................... 9 Meat and water for emergencies, as above (about)................19 Share of cooking-things......................................... 2

Total for each black man.............................30

For each black man, and for each six months: — Tobacco, 6 lbs.; salt, pepper, etc., 5 lbs......................11 Presents which will have to be made him from time to time... ....6

Total for six months (or at the rate of 3 lbs. per month).............17

Presents and Articles for Payment.—It is of the utmost importance to a traveller to be well and judiciously supplied with these: they are his money, and without money a person can no more travel in Savagedom than in Christendom. It is a great mistake to suppose that savages will give their labour or cattle in return for anything that is bright or new: they have their real wants and their fashions as much as we have; and, unless what a traveller brings, meets either the one or the other, he can get nothing from them, except through fear or compulsion.

The necessities of a savage are soon satisfied; and, unless he belongs to a nation civilised enough to live in permanent habitations, and secure from plunder, he cannot accumulate, but is only able to keep what he actually is able to carry about his own person. Thus, the chief at Lake Ngami told Mr. Andersson that his beads would be of little use, for the women about the place already "grunted like pigs" under the burdens of those that they wore, and which they had received from previous travellers. These are matters of serious consideration to persons who propose to travel with a large party, and who must have proportionably large wants.

Speaking of presents and articles for payment, as of money, it is essential to have a great quantity and variety of small change, wherewith the traveller can pay for small services, for carrying messages, for draughts of milk, pieces of meat, etc. Beads, shells, tobacco, needles, awls, cotton caps, handkerchiefs, clasp-knives, small axes, spear and arrow heads, generally answer this purpose.

There is infinite fastidiousness shown by savages in selecting beads, which, indeed, are their jewellery; so that valuable beads, taken at hap-hazard, are much more likely to prove failures than not. It would always be well to take abundance (40 or 50 lbs. weight goes but a little way) of the following cheap beads, as they are very generally accepted,—dull white, dark blue, and vermilion red, all of a small size.

It is the ignorance of what are the received articles of payment in a distant country, and the using up of those that are taken, which, more than any other cause, limits the journeyings of an explorer: the demands of each fresh chief are an immense drain upon his store.

Summary.—To know the minimum weight for which a proposed expedition must find means of transport, the omitted figures must be supplied in the following schedule, the others must be corrected where required, and the whole must be added together.

Stores for general use:—

Various small stores 95 lbs. Various heavy stores Stationery 30 Mapping 31 Natural History (occasional) 30

Stores for Individual use:—

For each white man (at rate of 7 lbs. per month) 66

For each black man (at rate of 3 lbs. per month 30

Presents and articles of payment are usually of far greater weight than all the above things put together.


Mem.—If meat and bread, and the like, have to be carried, a very large addition of weight must be made to this list, for the weight of a daily ration varies from 3 lbs., or even 4 lbs., to 2 lbs., according to the concentration of nutriment in the food that is used. Slaughter animals carry themselves; but the cattle-watchers swell the list of those who have to be fed.

Means of Transport.—In order to transport the articles belonging to an expedition across a wild and unknown country, we may estimate as follows:—

Beasts of burthen:—

An ass will not usually care more than about (net weight) 65 lbs. A small mule 90 A horse 100 An ox of an average greed 120 A camel (which rarely can be used by an explorer) 300

It is very inconvenient to take more than six pack-animals in a caravan that has to pass over broken country, for so much time is lost by the whole party in re-adjusting the packs of each member of it, whenever one gets loose, that its progress is seriously retarded.

Carriages.—An animal—camels always excepted—draws upon wheels in a wild country about two and a half times the weight he can carry.

lbs. A light cart, exclusive of the driver, should not carry more than..................................................800 A light waggon, such as one or two horses would trot away with, along a turnpike road, not more than...........1500 A waggon of the strongest construction, not more than.........3000

Weight of Rations.—A fair estimate in commissariat matters is as follows:— A strong waggon full of food carries 1000 full-day rations The pack of an ox " 40 " The pack of a horse " 30 " A slaughter ox yields, as fresh meat 80 " A fat sheep yields " 10 " (N.B. Meat when jerked loses about one-half of its nourishing powers.)


General Remarks.—Travellers are apt to expect too much from their medicines, and to think that savages will hail them as demigods wherever they go. But their patients are generally cripples who want to be made whole in a moment, and other suchlike impracticable cases. Powerful emetics, purgatives, and eyewashes are the most popular physickings.

The traveller who is sick away from help, may console himself with the proverb, that "though there is a great difference between a good physician and a bad one, there is very little between a good one and none at all."

Drugs and Instruments.—Outfit of Medicines,—A traveller, unless he be a professed physician, has no object in taking a large assortment of drugs. He wants a few powders, ready prepared; which a physician, who knows the diseases of the country in which he is about to travel, will prescribe for him. Those in general use are as follows:—

1. Emetic, mild; 2. ditto, very powerful, for poison (sulphate of zinc, also used as an eye-wash in Ophthalmia). e. Aperient, mild; 4. ditto, powerful. 5. Cordial for diarrhoea. 6. Quinine for ague. 7. Sudorific (Dover's powder). 8. Chlorodyne. 9. Camphor. 10. Carbolic acid.

In addition to these powders, the traveller will want Warburg's fever-drops; glycerine or cold cream; mustard-paper for blistering; heartburn lozenges; lint; a small roll of diachylon; lunar-caustic, in a proper holder, to touch old sores with, and for snake-bites; a scalpel and a blunt-pointed bistoury, with which to open abcesses (the blades of these should be waxed, to keep them from rust); a good pair of forceps, to pull out thorns; a couple of needles, to sew up gashes; waxed thread, or better, silver wire. A mild effervescing aperient, like Moxon's is very convenient. Seidlitz-powders are perhaps a little too strong for frequent use in a tropical climate.

How to carry Medicines.—The medicines should be kept in zinc pill-boxes with a few letters punched both on their tops and bottoms, to indicate what they contain, as Emet., Astr. etc. It is more important that the bottoms of the boxes should be labelled than their tops; because when two of them have been opened at the same time, it often happens that the tops run a risk of being changed.

It will save continual trouble with weights and scales, if the powders be so diluted with flour, that one Measureful of each shall be a full average dose for an adult; and if the measure to which they are adopted be cylindrical, and of such a size as just to admit a common lead-pencil, and of a determined length, it can at any time be replaced by twisting up a paper cartridge. I would further suggest that the powders be differently coloured, one colour being used for emetics and another for aperients.

Lint, to make.—Scrape a piece of linen with a knife.

Ointment.—Simple cerate, which is spread on lint as a soothing plaister for sores, consists of equal parts of oil and wax; but lard may be used as a substitute for the wax.

Seidlitz-powders are not often to be procured in the form we are accustomed to take them in, in England; so a recipe for making 12 sets of them, is annexed:—1 1/2 oz. of Carbonate of Soda and 3 oz. of Tartarised Soda, for the blue papers; 7 drachms of Tartaric Acid, for the white papers.

Bush Remedies.—Emetics.—For want of proper physic, drink a charge of gunpowder in a tumblerful of warm water of soap-suds, and tickle the throat.

Vapour-baths are used in many countries, and the following plan, used in Russia, is often the most convenient. Heat stones in the fire, and put them on the ground in the middle of the cabin or tent; on these pour a little water, and clouds of vapour are given off. In other parts of the world branches are spread on hot wood-embers, and the patient is placed upon these, wrapped in a large cloth; water is then sprinkled on the embers, and the patient is soon covered with a cloud of vapour. The traveller who is chilled or over-worked, and has a day of rest before him, would do well to practise this simple and pleasant remedy.

Bleeding and Cupping'.—Physicians say, now-a-days that bleeding is rarely, if ever, required; and that frequently it does much harm; but they used to bleed for everything. Many savages know how to cup: they commonly use a piece ofa horn as the cup, and they either suck at a hole in the top of the horn, to produce the necessary vacuum, or they make a blaze as we do, but with a wisp of grass.

Illnesses.—Fevers of all kinds, diarrhoea, and rheumatism, are the plagues that most afflict travellers; ophthalmia often threatens them. Change of air, from the flat country up into the hills, as soon as the first violence of the illness is past, works wonders in hastening and perfecting a cure.

Fever.—The number of travellers that have fallen victims to fever in certain lands is terrible: it is a matter of serious consideration whether any motives, short of imperious duty, justify a person in braving a fever-stricken country. In the ill-fated Niger expedition, three vessels were employed, of which the 'Albert' stayed the longest time in the river, namely two months and two days. Her English crew consisted of 62 men; of these, 55 caught fever in the river, and 23 died. Of the remaining seven, only two ultimately escaped scot-free; the others suffering, more or less severely, on their return to England. In Dr. McWilliams's Medical History of this expedition, it is laid down that the Niger fever, which may be considered as a type of pestilential fever generally, usually sets in sixteen days after exposure to the malaria; and that one attack, instead of acclimatising the patient, seems to render him all the more liable to a second. Every conceivable precaution known in those days, had been taken to ensure the health of the crew of the 'Albert.' A great discovery of modern days is the power of quinine to keep off many types of fever. A person would, now, have little to fear in taking a passage in a Niger steamer; supposing that vessels ran regularly up that river. The quinine he would take, beginning at the coast, would render him proof against fever, until he had passed the delta; but nothing would remove the risk of a long sojourn in the delta itself. However, I should add that Dr. Livingstone's experience on the zambesi throws doubt on the power of quinine to keep off the type of fever that prevails upon that river.

Precautions in unhealthy Places.—There are certain precautions which should be borne in mind in unhealthy places, besides that which I have just mentioned of regularly taking small doses of quinine, such as never to encamp to the leeward of a marsh; to sleep close in between large fires, with a handkerchief gathered round your face (natural instinct will teach this); to avoid starting too early in the morning; and to beware of unnecessary hunger, hardship, and exposure. It is a widely-corroborated fact that the banks of a river and adjacent plains are often less affected by malaria than the low hills that overlook them.

Diarrhoea.—With a bad diarrhoea, take nothing but broth, rice water, and it may be rice, in very small quantities at a meal, until you are quite restored. The least piece of bread or meat causes an immediate relapse.

Ophthalmia'.—Sulphate of zinc is invaluable as an eyewash: for ophthalmia is a scourge in parts of North and South Africa, in Australia, and in many other countries. The taste of the solution which should be strongly astringent, is the best guide to its strength.

Tooth-ache.—Tough diet tries the teeth so severely, that a man about to undergo it, should pay a visit to a dentist before he leaves England. An unskilled traveller is very likely to make a bad job of a first attempt at tooth-drawing. By constantly pushing and pulling an aching tooth, it will in time loosen, and perhaps, after some weeks, come out.

Thirst.—Pour water over the clothes of the patient, and keep them constantly wet; restrain his drinking, after the first few minutes, as strictly as you can summon heart to do it. (See "Thirst" in the chapter on "Water.") In less severe cases, drink water with a tea-spoon; it will satisfy a parched palate as much as if you gulped it down in tumblerfuls, and will disorder the digestion very considerably less.

Hunger.—Give two or three mouthfuls, every quarter of an hour, to a man reduced to the last extremity by hunger; strong broth is the best food for him.

Poisoning.—The first thing is to give a powerful emetic, that whatever poison still remains unabsorbed in the stomach, may be thrown up. Use soap-suds or gunpowder (see Emetics) if proper emetics are not at hand. If there be violent pains and gripings, or retchings, give plenty of water to make the vomitings more easy. Next, do your best to combat the symptoms that are caused by the poison which was absorbed before the emetic acted. Thus, if the man's feet are cold and numbed, put hot stones against them, and wrap them up warmly. If he be drowsy, heavy, and stupid, give brandy and strong coffee, and try to rouse him. There is nothing more to be done, save to avoid doing mischief.

Fleas.—"Italian flea-powder," sold in the East, is really efficacious. It is the powdered "Pire oti" (or flea-bane), mentioned in Curzon's 'Armenia' as growing in that country; it has since become an important article of export. A correspondent writes to me, "I have often found a light cotton or linen bag a great safeguard against the attacks of fleas. I used to creep into it, draw the loop tight round my neck, and was thus able to set legions of them at defiance."

Vermin on the Person.—I quote the following extract from Huc's 'Travels in Tartary':—"We had now been travelling for nearly six weeks, and still wore the same clothing we had assumed on our departure. The incessant pricklings with which we were harassed, sufficiently indicated that our attire was peopled with the filthy vermin to which the Chinese and Tartars are familiarly accustomed; but which, with Europeans, are objects of horror and disgust. Before quitting Tchagan-Kouren, we had bought in a chemist's shop a few sapeks'-worth of mercury. We now made with it a prompt and specific remedy against the lice. We had formerly got the receipt from some Chinese; and, as it may be useful to others, we think it right to describe it here. You take half an ounce of mercury, which you mix with old tea-leaves previously reduced to paste by mastication. to render this softer, you generally add saliva; water could not have the same effect. You must afterwards bruise and stir it a while, so that the mercury may be divided into little balls as fine as dust. (I presume the blue pill is a pretty exact equivalent to this preparation.) You infuse this composition into a string of cotton, loosely twisted, which you hang round the neck; the lice are sure to bite at the bait, and they thereupon as surely swell, become red, and die forthwith. In China and in Tartary you have to renew this salutary necklace once a month."

Blistered Feet.—To prevent the feet from blistering, it is a good plan to soap the inside of the stocking before setting out, making a thick lather all over it. A raw egg broken into a boot, before putting it on, greatly softens the leather: of course the boots should be well greased when hard walking is anticipated. After some hours on the road, when the feet are beginning to be chafed, take off the shoes, and change the stockings; Putting what was the right stocking on the left foot, and the left stocking on the right foot. Or, if one foot only hurts, take off the boot and turn the stocking inside out. These were the plans adopted by Captain Barclay. when a blister is formed, "rub the feet, on going to bed, with spirits mixed with tallow dropped from a candle into the palm of the hand; on the following morning no blister will exist. The spirits seem to possess the healing power, the tallow serving only to keep the skin soft and pliant. This is Captain Cochrane's advice, and the remedy was used by him in his pedestrian tour." (Murray's Handbook of Switzerland.') The recipe is an excellent one; pedestrians and teachers of gymnastics all endorse it.

Rarefied Air, effects of.—On high plateaux or mountains new-comers must expect to suffer. The symptoms are described by many South American travellers; the attack of them is there, among other names, called the puna. The disorder is sometimes fatal to stout plethoric people; oddly enough, cats are unable to endure it: at villages 13,000 feet above the sea, Dr. Tschudi says that they cannot live. Numerous trials have been made with these unhappy feline barometers, and the creatures have been found to die in frightful convulsions. The symptoms of the puna are giddiness, dimness of sight and hearing, headache, fainting-fits, blood from mouth, eyes, nose, lips, and a feeling like sea-sickness. Nothing but time cures it. It begins to be felt severely at from 12,000 to 13,000 feet above the sea. M. Hermann Schlagintweit, who has had a great deal of mountain experience in the Alps and in the Himalayas, up to the height of 20,000 feet or more, tells me that he found the headache, etc., come on when there was a breeze, far more than at any other time. His whole party would awake at the same moment, and begin to complain of the symptoms, immediately on the commencement of a breeze. The symptoms of overwork are not wholly unlike those of the puna, and many young travellers who have felt the first, have ascribed them to the second.

Scurvy has attacked travellers even in Australia; and I have myself felt symptoms of it in Africa, when living wholly on meat. Any vegetable diet cures it: lime-juice, treacle, raw potatoes, and acid fruits are especially efficacious. Dr. Kane insists on the value of entirely raw meat as a certain anti-scorbutic: this is generally used by the Esquimaux.

Haemorrhage from a Wound.—When the blood does not pour or trickle in a steady stream from a deep wound, but jets forth in pulses, and is of a bright red colour, all the bandages in the world will not stop it. It is an artery that is wounded; and, unless there be some one accessible, who knows how to take it up and tie it, I suppose that the method of our fore-fathers is the only one that can be used as you would for a snake-bite (see next paragraph); or else to pour boiling grease into the wound. This is, of course, a barbarous treatment, and its success is uncertain, as the cauterised artery may break out afresh; still, life is in question, and it is the only hope of saving it. After the cautery, the wounded limb should be kept perfectly still, well raised, and cool, until the wound is nearly healed. A tourniquet, which will stop the blood for a time, is made by tying a strong thong, string, or handkerchief firmly above the part, putting a stick through, and screwing it tight. If you know whereabouts the artery lies, which is the object to compress, put a stone over the place under the handkerchief. The main arteries follow pretty much the direction of the inner seams of the sleeves and trousers.

Snake-bites.—Tie a string tight above the part, suck the wound, and caustic it as soon as you can. Or, for want of caustic, explode gunpowder in the wound; of else do what Mr. Mansfield Parkyns well suggests, i.e., cut away with a knife, and afterwards burn out with the end of your iron ramrod, heated as near a white heat as you can readily get it. The arteries lie deep, and as much flesh may, without much danger, be cut or burnt into, as the fingers can pinch up. The next step is to use the utmost energy, and even cruelty, to prevent the patient's giving way to that lethargy and drowsiness which is the usual effect of snake-poison, and too often ends in death.

Wasp and Scorpion-stings.—the Oil scraped out of a tobacco-pipe is a good application; should the scorpion be large, his sting must be treated like a snake-bite.

Broken Bones.—It is extremely improbable that a man should die, in consequence of a broken leg or arm, if the skin be uninjured' but, if the broken end forces its way through the flesh, the injury is a very serious one. Abscesses form, the parts mortify, and the severest consequences often follow. Hence, when a man breaks a bone, do not convert a simple injury into a severe one, by carrying him carelessly. If possible, move the encampment to the injured man, and not vice versa. Mr. Druitt says:—"When a man has broken his leg, lay him on the other side, put the broken limb exactly on the sound one, with a little straw between, and tie the two legs together with handkerchiefs. Thus the two legs will move as one, and the broken bone will not hurt the flesh so much, nor yet come through the skin."

Drowning.—A half-drowned man must be put to bed in dry, heated clothes, hot stones, etc., placed against his feet, and his head must be raised moderately. Human warmth is excellent, such as that of two big men made to lie close up against him, one on each side. All rough treatment is not only ridiculous but full of harm; such as the fashion—which still exists in some places—of hanging up the body by the feet, that the swallowed water may drain out of the mouth.

I reprint here the instructions circulated by Dr. Marshall Hall:—

"1. Treat the patient instantly, on the spot, in the open air, exposing the face and chest to the breeze (except in severe weather).

"To Clear the Throat—2. Place the patient gently on the face, with one wrist under the forehead; all fluids and the tongue itself then fall forwards, leaving the entrance into the windpipe free. If there be breathing—wait and watch; if not, or if it fail,—

"To Excite Respiration—3. Turn the patient well and instantly on his side, and—4. Excite the nostrils with snuff, the throat with a feather, etc., dash cold water on the face previously rubbed warm. If there be no success, lose not a moment but instantly—

"To Imitate Respiration—5. Replace the patient on his face, raising and supporting the chest well on a folded coat or other article of dress;—6. Turn the body very gently on the side and a little beyond, and then briskly on the face, alternately; repeating these measures deliberately, efficiently, and perseveringly fifteen times in the minute, occasionally varying the side; when the patient reposes on the chest, this cavity is compressed by the weight of the body, and expiration takes place; when he is turned on the side, this pressure is removed, and inspiration occurs. 7. when the prone position is resumed, make equable but efficient pressure, with brisk movement, along the back of the chest; removing it immediately before rotation on the side: the first measure augments the expiration, the second commences inspiration. The result is—Respiration;—and, if not too late,—Life.

"To induce Circulation and Warmth—8. Rub the limbs upwards, with firm grasping pressure and with energy, using handkerchiefs, etc. by this measure the blood is propelled along the veins towards the heart. 9. Let the limbs be thus dried and warmed, and then clothed, the bystanders supplying coats, waistcoats, etc. 10.. Avoid the continuous warm-bath, and the position on or inclined to the back."

Litter for the Wounded.—If a man be wounded or sick, and has to be carried upon the shoulders of others, make a little for him in the Indian fashion; that is to say, cut two stout poles, each 8 feet long, to make its two sides, and three other cross-bars of 2 1/2 feet each, to be lashed to them. Then supporting this ladder-shaped framework over the sick man as he lies in his blanket, knot the blanket up well to it, and so carry him off palanquin-fashion. One cross-bar will be just behind his head, another in front of his feet; the middle one will cross his stomach, and keep him from falling out; and there will remain two short handles for the carriers to lay hold of. The American Indians carry their wounded companions by this contrivance after a fight, and during a hurried retreat, for wonderful distances. A king of waggon-roof top can easily be made to it, with bent boughs and one spare blanket. (See Palanquin.)

[Black and white sketch of two 'Indians' carrying litter].


In previous editions I reprinted here, with a few trifling alterations, part of a paper that I originally communicated to the Royal Geographical Society, and which will be found at the end of their volume for 1854. In addition to it, communications are published there from Lieutenant Raper, Admiral FitzRoy, Admiral Smyth, Admiral Beechey, and Colonel Sykes; the whole of which was collected under the title of 'Hints to Travellers;' they were printed in a separate form and widely circulated. When the edition was exhausted, a fresh Committee was appointed by the Council of the Royal Geographical society, consisting of Admiral sir George Back, Admiral R. Collinson, and myself, to revise the pamphlet thoroughly. This process was again gone through in 1871, and now the pamphlet is so much amended and enlarged that I should do no good by making extracts. It is much better that intending travellers should apply for this third edition of the 'Hints to Travellers' at the society's rooms, 1, Savile Row: for it gives a great deal of information upon instruments that they would find of real value. Its price is 1s.

Porters for delicate Instruments.—Entrust surveying instruments and fragile articles to come respectable old savage, whose infirmities compel him to walk steadily. He will be delighted at the prospect of picking up a living by such easy service.

Measuring low angles by reflexion.—an ordinary artificial horizon is useless for very low angles. They can be measured to within two or three minutes, by means of a vertical point of reference obtained in the following manner:—Tie two pieces of thread, crossing each other at two feet above the ground, put the vessel of mercury underneath it, and look down upon the mercury. When the eye is so placed, that the crossed threads exactly cover their reflexion, the line of sight is truly vertical; and, if the distant object be brought down to them by the sextant, the angle read off will be 90 degrees + altitude. Captain George's arrangement of glass floating on mercury (made by Cary, Fleet Street, London), allows of very low angles being observed, but the use of this instrument requires considerable caution as to the purity of the mercury and the cleanliness of the glass.

Substitute for glass roof to Horizon.—For want of a glass roof to place over the mercury a piece of gauze stretched over the vessel will answer very tolerably for the purpose of keeping off the wind. The diameter of the pupil of the eye is so large, compared to the thickness of the threads of the gauze, that the latter offer little impediment to a clear view of the image.

Silvering Glasses for Sextants.—"Before taking leave of this subject it may not be unimportant to describe the operation of silvering the glasses of sextants, as those employed on surveying duties very frequently have to perform the operation.

"The requisites are clean tinfoil and mercury (a hare's foot is handy)—lay the tinfoil, which should exceed the surface of the glass by a quarter of an inch on each side, on a smooth surface (the back of a book), rub it out smooth with the finger, add a bubble of mercury, about the size of a small shot, which rub gently over the tinfoil until it spreads itself and shows a silvered surface, gently add sufficient mercury to cover the leaf so that its surface is fluid. Prepare a slip of paper the size of the tinfoil. Take the glass in the left hand, previously well cleaned, and the paper in the right. Brush the surface of the mercury gently to free it from dross. Lay the paper on the mercury, and the glass on it. Pressing gently on the glass, withdraw the paper. turn the glass on its face, and leave it on an inclined plane to allow the mercury to flow off, which is accelerated by laying a strip of tinfoil as a conductor to its lower edge. The edges may, after twelve hours' rest, be removed. In twenty-four hours give it a coat of varnish, made from spirits of wine and red sealing-wax. It may be as well to practise on small bits of common glass, which will soon prove the degree of perfection which the operator has attained." (Admiral Sir E. Belcher.)


Best form for Memoranda.—I have remarked that almost every traveller who is distinguished for the copiousness and accuracy of his journals, has written them in a remarkably small but distinct handwriting. Hard pencil-marks (HHH pencils) on common paper, or on metallic paper are very durable. Dr. Barth wrote his numerous observations entirely in Indian-ink. He kept a tiny saucer in his pocket, rubbed with the ink; when he wanted to use it, he rubbed it up with his wetted finger-tip, or resupplied it with fresh ink, and filled his pen and wrote. Captain Burton wrote very much in the dark, when lying awake at night; he used a board with prominent lines of wood, such as is adopted by the blind. It is very important that what is written should be intelligible to a stranger after a long lapse of time. A traveller may die, and his uncompleted work perish with him; or he may return, and years will pass by, and suddenly some observations he had made will be called in question.

Professor J. Forbes says:—"The practice which I have long adopted is this:—to carry a memorandum-book with Harwood's prepared paper" (in this point of detail I do not concur; see next paragraph) "and metallic pencil, in which notes and observations and slight sketches of every description, are made on the spot, and in the exact order in which they occur. These notes are almost ineffaceable, and are preserved for reference. They are then extended, as far as possible, every evening with pen and ink, in a suitable book, in the form of a journal; from which, finally, they may be extracted and modified for any ultimate purpose. The speedy extension of memoranda has several great advantages: it secures a deliberate revision of observations, whether of instruments or of nature, whilst further explanation may be sought, and very often whilst ambiguities or contradictions admit of removal by a fresh appeal to facts. By this precaution, too, the risk of losing all the fruits of some weeks of labour, by the loss of a pocket-book, may be avoided."

It has occurred to me, frequently, to be consulted about the best was of keeping MSS. Captain Blakiston, who surveyed the northern part of the Rocky Mountains, and subsequently received the medal of the Royal Geographical Society, for his exploration and admirable map of the Yang-tse-Kiang, in China, paid great attention to the subject: he was fully in possession of all I had to say on the matter; and I gladly quote the method he adopted in North America, with slight modifications, according to the results of his experience, and with a few trivial additions of my own. For the purposes of memoranda and mapping data, he uses three sets of books, which can be ordered at any lithographer's:—

No. 1. pocket Memorandum Book, measuring three inches and a half by five, made of strong paper. (Captain Blakston did not use, and I should not advise travellers to use, "prepared" paper, for it soon becomes rotten, and the leaves fall out; besides that, wet makes the paper soppy.) The books are paged with bold numbers printed in the corners; two faint red lines are ruled down the middle of each page, half an inch apart, to enable the book to be used as a field-surveyor's book when required. In this pocket=book, every single thing that is recorded at all, is originally recorded with a hard HHH pencil. Everything is written consecutively, without confusion or attempt to save space. There may easily be 150 pages in each of these books; and a sufficient number should be procured to admit of having at least one per month. Do not stint yourself in these.

No. 2. Log-Book.—This is an orderly way of collecting such parts of the surveying material as has been scattered over each day in your note-book. It is to be neatly written out, and will become the standard of future reference. By using a printed form, the labour of drawing up the log on the one hand, and that of consulting it on the other, will be vastly diminished. I give Captain Blakiston's form, in pages 28, 29, and I would urge intending travellers not to depart from it without very valid reasons, for it is the result of considerable care and experience. The size in which the form is printed here is not quite accurate, because the pages of this book are not large enough to admit of it, but the proportion is kept. The actual size is intended to be five and a half inches high and nine inches wide, so that it should open freely along one of the narrow sides of the page, in the way that all memoranda books ought to open. Four pages go to a day; of these the pages 1 and 2 are alone represented in this book, pages 3 and 4 being intended to be left blank.

[P 28 and p 29 show samples of the log book pages being described].

The bold figures 17 and 18 in the right-hand corners of the form I give, show how the pages should be numbered. The lines in p. 18 should be faint blue.

No. 3. Calculation Book.—This should be of the same size and shape as the Log Book, and should contain outline forms for calculations. The labour and confusion saved by using these, and the accuracy of work that they ensure, are truly remarkable. The instruments used, the observations made, and especially the tables employed, are so exceedingly diverse, that I fear it would be to little purpose if I were to give special examples: each traveller must suit himself. I will, therefore, simply make a few general remarks on this subject, in the following paragraph.

Number of Observations requiring record.—A traveller does excellently, who takes latitudes by meridian altitudes, once in the twenty-four hours; a careful series of lunars once a fortnight, on an average; compass variations as often; and an occulation now and then. He will want, occasionally, a time observation by which to set his watch (I am supposing he uses no chronometer). He ought therefore to provide himself with outline forms for calculating these observations, even if he finds himself obliged to have them printed or lithographed on purpose; and in preparing them, he should bear the following well-known maxims in mind:—

Let all careful observations be in doubles. If they be for latitudes, observe a star N. and a star S.; the errors of your instruments will then affect the results in opposite directions, and the mean of the results will destroy the error. So, if for time, observe in doubles, viz., a star E. and a star W. Also, if for lunars, let your sets be in doubles—one set of distances to a star E. of moon, and one to a star W. of moon. Whenever you begin on lunars, give three hours at least to them, and bring away a reliable series; you will be thus possessed of a certainty to work upon, instead of the miserably unsatisfactory results obtained from a single set of lunars taken here and another set there, scattered all over the country, and impossible to correlate. A series should consist of six sets, each set including three simple distances. Three of these sets should be to a star or stars E. of moon, and three to a star or stars W. of moon. Lunars not taken on the E. and W. plan are almost worthless, no matter how numerous they may be, for the sextant, etc., might be inaccurate to any amount, and yet no error be manifest in their results. But the E. and W. plan exposes errors mercilessly, and also eliminates them. One of the best authorities on the requirements of sextant observations in rude land travel, the Astronomer Royal of Cape Town, says to this effect:—"Do not observe the altitude of the star in taking lunars, but compute it. The labour requisite for that observation is better bestowed in taking a large number of distances." So much delicacy of hand and of eyesight is requisite in taking lunars that shall give results reliable to seven or eight miles, and so small an exertion or flurry spoils that delicacy, that economy of labour and fidget is a matter to be carefully studied.

These things being premised, it will be readily understood that outline forms sufficient for an entire series of lunars will extend over many pages—they will, in fact, require eighteen pages. There are four sets of observations for time:—one E. and one W., both at beginning and close of the whole; one for latitudes N. and S.; six for six sets of lunars, as described above; six for the corresponding altitudes of the stars, which have to be computed; and, finally, one page for taking means, and recording the observations for adjustment, etc. Each double observation for latitude would take one page; each single time observation one page; and each single compass variation one page. An occulation would require three pages in all; one of which would be for time. At this rate, and taking the observations mentioned above, a book of 500 pages would last half a year. Of course where the means of transport is limited, travellers must content themselves with less. Thus Captain Speke, who started on his great journey amply equipped with log-books and calculation-books, such as I have described, found them too great an incumbrance, and was compelled to abandon them. The result was, that though he brought back a very large number of laborious observations, there was a want of method in them, which made a considerable part of his work of little or no use, while the rest required very careful treatment, in order to give results commensurate with their high intrinsic value.


Distance.—To measure the Length of a Journey by Time.—The pace of a caravan across average country is 2 1/2 statute, or 2 geographical, miles per hour, as measured with compasses from point to point, and not following the sinuosities of each day's course; but in making this estimate, every minute lost in stoppages by the way is supposed to be subtracted from the whole time spent on the road. A careful traveller will be surprised at the accuracy of the geographical results, obtainable by noting the time he has employed in actual travel. Experience shows that 10 English miles per day, measured along the road—or, what is much the same thing, 7 geographical miles, measured with a pair of compasses from point to point—is, taking one day with another, and including all stoppages of every kind, whatever be their cause,—very fast travelling for a caravan. In estimating the probable duration of a journey in an unknown country, or in arranging an outfit for an exploring expedition, not more than half that speed should be reckoned upon. Indeed, it would be creditable to an explorer to have conducted the same caravan for a distance of 1000 geographical miles, across a rude country, in six months. These data have, of course, no reference to a journey which may be accomplished by a single great effort, nor to one where the watering-places and pasturages are well known; but apply to an exploration of considerable length, in which a traveller must feel his way, and where he must use great caution not to exhaust his cattle, lest some unexpected call for exertion should arise, which they might prove unequal to meet. Persons who have never travelled—and very many of those who have, from neglecting to analyse their own performances—entertain very erroneous views on these matters.

Rate of Movement to measure.—a. When the length of pace etc., is known before beginning, to observe.—A man or a horse walking at the rate of one mile per hour, takes 10 paces in some ascertainable number of seconds, dependent upon the length of his step. If the length of his step be 30 inches, he will occupy 17 seconds in making 10 paces. Conversely, if the same person counts his paces for 17 seconds, and finds that he has taken 10 in that time, he will know that he is walking at the rate of exactly 1 mile per hour. If he had taken 40 paces in the same period, he would know that his rate had been 4 miles per hour; if 35 paces, that it had been 3.5, or 3 1/2 miles per hour. Thus it will be easily intelligible, that if a man knows the number of seconds appropriate to the length of his pace, he can learn the rate at which he is walking, by counting his paces during that number of seconds and by dividing the number of his paces so obtained, by 10. In short the number of his paces during the period in question, gives his rate per hour, in miles and decimals of a mile, to one place of decimals. I am indebted to Mr. Archibald Smith for this very ingenious notion, which I have worked into the following Tables. In Table I., I give the appropriate number of seconds corresponding to paces of various lengths. I find, however, that the pace of neither man nor horse is constant in length during all rates of walking; consequently, where precision is sought, it is better to use this Table on a method of approximation. That is to say, the traveller should find his approximate rate by using the number of seconds appropriate to his estimated speed. Then, knowing the length of pace due to that approximate rate, he will proceed afresh by adopting a revised number of seconds, and will obtain a result much nearer to the truth than the first. Table I. could of course be employed for finding the rate of a carriage, when the circumference of one of its wheels was known; but it is troublesome to make such a measurement. I therefore have calculated Table II., in terms of the radius of the wheel. The formulae by which the two Tables have been calculated are, m=l x 0.5682 for Table I., and m=r x 3.570 for Table II., where m is the appropriate number of seconds; l is the length of the pace, or circumference of the wheel; and r is the radius of the wheel.

The Tables will be found on the next page.

[Tables I and II appear on p 34].

b. When the length of Pace is unknown till after observation.—In this case, the following plan gives the rate of travel per hour, with the smallest amount of arithmetic.

For statute miles per hour—Observe the number of paces (n) taken in 5.7 seconds: let i be the number of inches (to be subsequently determined at leisure) in a single pace; then ni/100 is the rate per hour.

For geographical miles per hour—The number of seconds to be employed is 5. This formula is therefore very simple, and it is a useful one. (A statute mile is 1760 yards, and a geographical mile is 2025 yards.)

For finding the rate in statute miles per hour in a carriage—Observe the number of revolutions (n) made by the wheel in 18 seconds: let d be the number of inches in the diameter of the wheel; then n d/200 is the rate per hour.

The above method is convenient for measuring the rate at which an animal gallops. After counting its paces it may be through a telescope, during the prescribed number of seconds, you walk to the track, and measure the length of its pace. If you have no measuring tape, stride in yards alongside its track, to find the number of yards that are covered by 36 of its paces. This is, of course, identical with the number of inches in one of its paces.

Convenient Equivalents.—The rate of 1 mile per hour, is the equivalent to each of the rates in the following list:—

Yards. Feet. Inches. 29.333, or 88.000, or 1056.000, in one minute or 0.488, or 1.466, or 17.600, in one second

Measurement of Length.—Actual measurement with the rudest makeshift, is far preferable to an unassisted guess, especially to an unpractised eye.

Natural Units of Length.—A man should ascertain his height; height of his eye above ground; ditto, when kneeling: his fathom; his cubit; his average pace; the span, from ball of thumb to tip of one of his fingers; the length of the foot; the width of two, three, or four fingers; and the distance between his eyes. In all probability, some one of these is an even and a useful number of feet or inches, which he will always be able to recollect, and refer to as a unit of measurement. The distance between the eyes is instantly determined, and, I believe, never varies, while measurements of stature, and certainly those of girth of limb, become very different when a man is exhausted by long travel and bad diet. It is therefore particularly useful for measuring small objects. To find it, hold a stick at arm's-length, at right angles to the line of sight; then, looking past its end to a distant object, shut first one eye and then the other, until you have satisfied yourself of the exact point on the stick that covers the distant object as seen by the one eye, when the end of the stick exactly covers the same object, as seen by the other eye. A stone's throw is a good standard of reference for greater distances. Cricketers estimate distance by the length between wickets. Pacing yards should be practised. It is well to dot or burn with the lens of your opera-glass a scale of inches on the gun-stock and pocket-knife.

Velocity of Sound.—Sound flies at 380 yards or about 1000 feet in a second, speaking in round numbers: it is easy to measure rough distances by the flash of a gun and its report; for even a storm of wind only makes 4 per cent. difference, one way or the other, in the velocity of sound.

Measurement of Angles.—Rude Measurements.—I find that a capital substitute for a very rude sextant is afforded by the outstretched hand and arm. The span between the middle finger and the thumb subtends an angle of about 15 degrees, and that between the forefinger and the thumb an angle of 11 1/4 degrees, or one point of the compass. Just as a person may learn to walk yards accurately, so may he learn to span out these angular distances accurately; and the horizon, however broken it may be, is always before his eyes to check him. Thus, if he begins from a tree, or even from a book on his shelves and spans all round until he comes to the tree or book again, he should make twenty-four of the larger spans and thirty-two of the lesser ones. These two angles of 15 degrees and 11 1/4 degrees are particularly important. The sun travels through 15 degrees in each hour; and therefore, by "spanning" along its course, as estimated, from the place where it would stand at noon (aided in this by the compass), the hour before or after noon, and, similarly after sunrise or before sunset, can be instantly reckoned. Again, the angles 30 degrees, 45 degrees, 60 degrees, and 90 degrees, all of them simple multiples of 15 degrees, are by far the most useful ones in taking rough measurements of heights and distances, because of the simple relations between the sides of right-angled triangles, one of whose other angles are 30 degrees, 45 degrees, or 60 degrees; and also because 60 degrees is the value of an angle of an equilateral triangle. As regards 11 1/4 degrees, or one point of the compass, it is perfectly out of the question to trust to bearings taken by the unaided eye, or to steer a steady course by simply watching a star or landmark, when this happens to be much to the right or the left of it. Now, nothing is easier than to span out the bearing from time to time.

Right-angles to lay out.—A triangle whose sides are as 3, 4, and 5, must be a right-angled one, since 5 x 5 = 3 x 3 + 4 x 4; therefore we can find a right-angle very simply by means of a measuring-tape. We take a length of twelve feet, yards, fathoms, or whatever it may be, and peg its two ends, side by side, to the ground. Peg No. 2 is driven in at the third division, and peg No. 3 is held at the seventh division of the cord, which is stretched out till it becomes taut; then the peg is driven in. These three pegs will form the corners of a right-angled triangle; peg No. 2 being situated at the right-angle.

Proximate Arcs.— 1 degree subtends, at a distance of 1 statute mile, 90 feet. 1' subtends, at a distance of 1 statute mile, 18 inches. 1' subtends at a distance of 100 yards, 1 inch. 1" of latitude on the earth's surface is 100 feet. 30' is subtended by the diameter of either the sun or the moon.

Angles measured by their Chords.—The number of degrees contained by any given angle, may be ascertained without a protractor or other angular instrument, by means of a Table of Chords. So, also, may any required angle be protracted on paper, through the same simple means. In the first instance, draw a circle on paper with its centre at the apex of the angle and with a radius of 1000, next measure the distance between the points where the circle is cut by the two lines that enclose the angle. Lastly look for that distance (which is the chord of the angle) in the annexed table, where the corresponding number of degrees will be found, where the corresponding number of degrees will be found. If it be desired to protract a given angle, the same operation is to be performed in a converse sense. I need hardly mention that the chord of an angle is the same thing as twice the sine of half that angle; but as tables of natural sines are not now-a-days commonly to be met with, I have thought it well worth while to give a Table of Chords. When a traveller, who is unprovided with regular instruments, wishes to triangulate, or when having taken some bearings but having no protractor, he wishes to lay them down upon his map, this little table will prove of very great service to him. (See "Measurement of distances to inaccessible places.")

[Table of Chords to Radius of 1000].

Triangulation.—Measurement of distance to an inaccessible place.—By similar triangles.—To show how the breadth of a river may be measured without instruments, without any table, and without crossing it, I have taken the following useful problem from the French 'Manuel du Genie.' Those usually given by English writers for the same purpose are, strangely enough, unsatisfactory, for they require the measurement of an angle. This plan requires pacing only. To measure A G, produce it for any distance, as to D; from D, in any convenient direction, take any equal distances, D C, c d; produce B C to b, making c B—C B; join d b, and produce it to a, that is to say, to the point where A C produced intersects it; then the triangles to the left of C, are similar to those on the right of C, and therefore a b is equal to A B. The points D C, etc., may be marked by bushes planted in the ground, or by men standing.

The disadvantages of this plan are its complexity, and the usual difficulty of finding a sufficient space of level ground, for its execution. The method given in the following paragraph is incomparably more facile and generally applicable.

Triangulation by measurement of Chords.—Colonel Everest, the late Surveyor-General of India, pointed out (Journ. Roy. Geograph. Soc. 1860, p. 122) the advantage to travellers, unprovided with angular instruments, of measure the chords of the angles they wish to determine. He showed that a person who desired to make a rude measurement of the angle C A B, in the figure (p. 40), has simply to pace for any convenient length from A towards C, reaching, we will say, the point a' and then to pace an equal distance from A towards B, reaching the point a ae. Then it remains for him to pace the distance a' a" which is the chord of the angle A to the radius A a'. Knowing this, he can ascertain the value of the angle C A B by reference to a proper table. In the same way the angle C B A can be ascertained. Lastly, by pacing the distance A B, to serve as a base, all the necessary data will have been obtained for determining the lines A C and B C. The problem can be worked out, either by calculation or by protraction. I have made numerous measurements in this way, and find the practical error to be within five per cent.

Table for rude triangulation by Chords.—It occurred to me that the plan described in the foregoing paragraph might be exceedingly simplified by a table, such as that which I annex in which different values of a' a" are given for a radius of 10, and in which the calculations are made for a base = 100. The units in which A a', A a", and B b', Bb", are to be measured are intended to be paces, though, of course, any other units would do. The units in which the base is measured may be feet, yards, minutes, or hours' journey, or whatever else is convenient. Any multiple or divisor of 100 may be used for the base, if the tabular number be similarly multiplied. Therefore a traveller may ascertain the breadth of a river, or that of a valley, or the distance of any object on either side of his line of march, by taking not more than some sixty additional paces, and by making a single reference to my table. Particular care must be taken to walk in a straight line from A to B, by sighting some more distant object in a line with B. It will otherwise surprise most people, on looking back at their track, to see how curved it has been and how far their b' B is from being in the right direction.

[Contains Table for Rough Triangulation without the usual instruments, and without Calculation"].

Measurement of Time.—Sun Dial.—Plant a stake firmly in the ground in a level open space, and get ready a piece of string, a tent-peg, and a bit of stick a foot long. When the stars begin to appear, and before it is dark, go to the stake, lie down on the ground, and plant the stick, so adjusting it that its top and the point where the string is tied to the stake shall be in a line with the Polar Star, or rather with the Pole (see below); then get up, stretch the string so as just to touch the top of the stick, and stake it down with the tent-peg. Kneel down again, to see that all is right, and in the morning draw out the dial-lines; the string being the gnomon. The true North Pole is distant about 1 1/2 degree, or three suns' (or moons') diameters from the Polar Star, and it lies between the Polar Star and the pointers of the Great Bear, or, more truly, between it and [Greek letter] Urs ae Majoris.

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